ODD suppliers accused of price fixing

A Connecticut-based electronics retailer has filed a suit against several major optical disk drive manufacturers, accusing them of price fixing.

The suit, filed in California’s Northern District Court, names units of Sony, NEC, Hitachi, LG, Hitachi, Toshiba and Samsung. Between them, says the filing, the companies control over 90 percent of the market.

Prisco Electric Company says the companies have colluded to keep prices of CD, DVD and Blu-ray drives artificially high. It says they’ve been up to these tricks since 2005, using trade forums to strike these deals.

“When the price of ODD began to dip, the Defendants entered into an illegal agreement to prevent competitors form entering into the market and to keep prices at a supracompetitive level,” the filing says.

The US Department of Justice has also got its eye on some of these manufacturers: Sony has confirmed it’s under investigation, and the Wall Street Journal said last October that Hitachi and Toshiba are under the spotlight too.

The suit doesn’t specify what damages Prisco is after, but does call for the companies to stop price fixing in future.

The lawyers representing Prisco, Saveri & Saveri, say they have half a dozen other retailers joining in the class action, and that they expect more to follow suit.